Jan des Bouvrie 1942-2020
"Grandmaster Of The White Interior."
Dutch celebrity designer Jan des Bouvrie (78), known for creating the iconic Cube Sofa and introducing white minimalist interiors to the Netherlands, has passed away after a multi-year battle with prostate cancer. Mr. des Bouvrie's career spanned over 50 years, from the initial product designer to complete residential and commercial design projects.
Jan des Bouvrie was born in the city of Naarden, just east of Amsterdam, in 1942. His family ran a furniture business, and he decided to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for art and design in Amsterdam to follow in their footsteps.
After a brief stint working for his parents' business, he ventured into designing furniture himself. He moved his design studio to his home town of Naarden in 1993, a fortified city famous for its unique layout resembling a giant snowflake.
Together with his spouse and fellow Interior Designer Monique des Bouvrie, he set up Het Arsenaal, located in the center of The Netherlands, called Het Gooi. An early archetype of a studio, a restaurant, and a lifestyle showroom, all within a beautiful former 17th-century military building.
With this by Jan and Monique created source for all the senses, they were true pioneering. It simply was never done or conceived before. Their design studio and showroom quickly became THE hotspot for design.
"I Have Always Sought The Light."
Before the arrival of Jan des Bouvrie in the Dutch Design scene, interiors were mostly dark and more on the moody side. His most well-known design, the Kubusbank or Cube Sofa, created for Gelderland in 1969, is still in production and present today. Jan's quest for light and lightness, whether that would be with the use of the color white in his product designs or the open, airy, and sparsely designed contemporary interiors, would away be the main focus of his design aesthetic.
In 2009, Jan was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, the country's oldest and highest civilian order of chivalry.
After his passing, many within the International Interior Design scene paid tribute to Jan des Bouvrie.
Fellow Dutch designer Piet Boon was spot on with his remark, "It is amazing to realize, that when the Dutch think of the color white, they think of Jan de Bouvrie."
"Jan des Bouvrie, colorful as he was, made the world light and white," reads a statement from Studio Jan des Bouvrie.
Studio Jan des Bouvrie will continue to be operated by his wife, Monique.